Hijabs don't kill people; people kill people - 4/29/2013 12:25 am
How do you say "Go ahead; make my day" in Arabic? - 4/20/2013 9:03 am
Let's privatize oil money in Alaska - 4/9/2013 5:07 pm
Wet or dry--maybe it's time we had each other's backs - 3/31/2013 3:46 pm
A Matter of Choice - 2/18/2013 12:49 pm
What's in a name, anyway? - 2/8/2013 10:43 pm
How about a ban on vicious and mindless gun politics? - 1/18/2013 9:50 pm
Smedley Butler got it right in 1935 - 1/3/2013 11:06 am
Posted: December 7, 2011 - 2:41 pm
Today, I plead guilty of “looking backwards at history,” whatever that means.
I mean it’s hard to look forwards at history, since history is in the past and not in the future.
Posted: December 2, 2011 - 3:24 pm
How should we characterize last week’s “Occupy Walmart” fracas? After various reports of violence breaking out during Black Friday in shopping malls around the country, including the one where one woman pepper-sprayed other shoppers in a Walmart, do we accuse all shoppers of being violent jobless lawbreakers or do we limit the accusationonly to Black Friday shoppers? Last Friday 15 minutes before closing time, I entered Fred Meyer’s to buy some cabbage, carrots and celery. Does that qualify me as a violent lawbreaker? Should the Freddie employees have told me to get a job?
Posted: November 23, 2011 - 7:07 am
The Municipal Assembly Tuesday night demonstrated my point.
The labels “liberal” and “leftist” may have made some sense in the 1960s and 1970s, but not in 2011.
Posted: November 18, 2011 - 9:45 am
On the first Saturday in March and the Fourth of July Iditarod fans and demonstrators occupy downtown Anchorage. The folks occupying Anchorage impede auto traffic downtown and the Iditarod start blocks the sidewalks and leaves streets strewn with disgusting fecal matter. Oddly enough, the city police do not arrest those who create such nuisances. In fact, the police help create the nuisances.
Posted: November 16, 2011 - 11:40 am
One of my long-standing gripes has been investing our permanent fund in tobacco companies, corporate polluters and apartheid. But I recognize and respect consistency. The PFD board has for decades maintained the policy of basing investments solely on fiscal matters, regardless of their social and political implications.
Posted: November 7, 2011 - 12:50 pm
While at lunch in Bethel some 18 years ago, John, an evangelical Christian, told me Oliver North had done nothing wrong when he lied during investigation of the Iran-Contra scandal. North, John explained, was obeying a higher power. Since the higher power uses the Eighth Commandment to forbid bearing false witness, I asked John, which power he considered higher than God. John backed off.
The incident reminds me of a certain mind-set in our country. People show great respect for laws when individuals break them but considerable flexibility when government officials break them.
Posted: November 5, 2011 - 10:09 am
One of my coffee-drinking companions likes the principle enunciated, he says, by the Australian prime minister: If you want to live in Australia, you should speak English there.
Turns out my companion not only spends winters in Arizona, where lots of people speak Spanish as their primary language, but also in Mexico. So, silly me, I asked if Americans in Mexico there should speak Spanish.
Not a problem, he said, lots of people speak English.
Posted: November 3, 2011 - 9:34 pm
In one of my favorite cartoons, a little boy and a little girl stand in front of a treehouse with a sign reading “ No girlz aloud.” The little girl extends her hands in a gesture of frustration while the little boy holds his hands on his hips in a gesture of defiance and says something like “Haven’t you ever heard of the double standard?”
There’s a lot of truth in that cartoon. Our society is full of double standards so ingrained in our customs that we take them for granted instead of challenging their validity.
Posted: October 17, 2011 - 9:59 pm
Over the years, I have encountered accusations that Palestinian fighters have been using “human shields” against those invading and occupying Palestinian land. The expression "human shields" has turned up on these cyberpages as well.
Posted: October 12, 2011 - 12:11 pm
Apparently, some people didn’t get the message that the Cold War ended more than 20 years ago. Last week, I saw a comment by Bill O’Reilly who called a protester at an Occupy Wall Street rally a “communist sympathizer.”
When folks resort to mindless name-calling and absurd accusations, you know they’re on the run. You can smell ad hominem arguments a mile away, particularly when they’ve been rotting since the Cold War ended.
Posted: October 11, 2011 - 1:04 pm
Let’s have a show of hands: How many see the arrest of the “Christian” survivalist who called himself Papa Pilgrim for, among other things, raping his daughters, as an attack on Christian family values?
May I guess not too many hands are in the air as you read this?
Then maybe you can understand my skepticism at comments from politicians like Herman Cain and pundits like Paul Jenkins that folks like me are blaming my problems on people who make money on Wall Street, want to destroy all Wall Street banks and want to “punish” people for being successful.
Posted: September 27, 2011 - 3:05 pm
Last week I heard considerable complaint about the “Farmageddon” movie that played Thursday night. Were the filmmakers champions of small farmers devoted to environmentally sustainable practices or simply shills for extreme libertarians?
The film profiled the travails of small farmers dedicated to providing organic foods, including raw milk, and their conflicts with government bureaucrats.
Posted: September 21, 2011 - 2:43 pm
This week’s news reminds me of a 1970s interview with a Fairbanks John Bircher.
In response to a question about the role of government in cutting down pollution, the Bircher, whose name I forget, preferred leaving the problem to the private sector. If the polluter breaks the law, he suggested, simply sue the offender.
That was before “tort reform,” in which laws now make it harder to do what the 1970s Bircher proposed.
For years, we’ve been hearing about the virtues of a “flat tax,” in which everyone pays the same rate.
Posted: September 18, 2011 - 12:20 pm
I forget the particular games, but not the particular incidents.
Posted: September 11, 2011 - 6:59 am
Today I suspect most commentators will reassure Americans by telling them what they want to hear. Let them. I prefer to challenge readers instead of reassuring them:
More than half a century ago, a classmate and future media celebrity corrected me.
Posted: September 10, 2011 - 3:38 pm
The Appeasement Ends Now
It’s been a wild—both hilarious and aggravating—ride.
For the past 27 months, I’ve watched with amazement and frustration at the reactions to my little essays. It’s been something like reading Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22” and watching the famous “Dr. Strangelove” movie. You react to the absurd evil by simultaneously laughing at the absurdity and shuddering at the evil. Now, I don’t mean to imply that the antics of the responders is in any way violent, even if the responders see themselves at war with me as their mortal enemy.
Posted: September 8, 2011 - 11:37 am
Some 15 years ago, Alaska Right to Life ran a big newspaper ad advocating that politicians cut state aid to poor people because some of that aid might be used for abortions. So I called the local anti-abortion group to complain about punishing poor people for abortions they have nothing to do with. The fellow who answered claimed to be a loyal Catholic who obeys all church teaching; so I asked if he supports government programs that reward terrorists for murdering Latin American Catholics. He hung up on me three times rather than answer my question.
Posted: September 5, 2011 - 2:57 pm
For those of you who like to stick labels on others, what do you call those:
1) who accuse others of hypocrisy but never admit any hypocrisy of their own?
2) who accuse others of double standards but never mention their own?
3) who refuse to be even-handed while complaining that others aren’t even-handed?
4) and who repeatedly complain about alleged repetition without ever recognizing the irony?
Posted: September 3, 2011 - 12:22 pm
When I was asked to be a speaker at a local gathering last week, I engaged in some role reversal. Instead of the usual speaking for ten minutes and then answering questions, I spoke for one minute and asked the group questions. Instead of their clapping for me at the end of my speech, I clapped for them at the end of theirs.
Lots of people came forward after me with praise for my “speech.”
Maybe today is a good day to do some more role reversal and devote this essay to more questions than answers.
Posted: September 1, 2011 - 1:54 pm
If you have any doubts that our local newspaper is part of the leftist media conspiracy, check out today’s hard copy for three ultra-leftist stories.